By Phiwa Sikhondze
The Eswatini Communications Commission (ESCCOM) and the United Nations Development Programme Eswatini (UNDP) yesterday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to support digital transformation in Eswatini.
The event took place at the UN headquarters in Mbabane.
The MOU aims to improve service delivery, ensure access to ICTs for all citizens and businesses, and empower smallholder co-operatives and micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) by providing innovative technology solutions.
While enhancing value addition and promoting sustainability, the MOU also seeks to create sustainable employment opportunities in the fields of ICT, tourism, and related sectors through innovative technology-driven solutions.
The MOU is aligned with the National Digital Strategy and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), with a particular focus on marginalized communities. Part of the objectives of this MOU is to leverage ICTs to achieve the SDGs.
The Chief Executive of ESCCOM, Mvilawemphi Dlamini, expressed his gratitude to the UNDP for their commitment to reaching this important milestone.
Dlamini also explained how this partnership will benefit Eswatini. To ensure the objectives of the MOU are met, he pledged his utmost dedication to achieving the objectives laid out in the MOU.
“This agreement will play a pivotal role in accelerating our progress towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. These goals encompass vital indicators such as reducing youth unemployment, bolstering food security, broadening access to ICTs, digitizing services, and fostering financial inclusion throughout Eswatini,” he said.
The UNDP Eswatini Resident Representative, Rose Ssebatindira, commended ESCCOM for its leadership and vision in driving digital transformation in Eswatini. She encouraged the organizations to ensure that no one is left out as they strive to bridge the digital divide through this partnership.
“Through this MOU, UNDP and ESCCOM are committing to further enhance universal access to ICT services at an affordable cost for EmaSwati, with a special focus on the marginalized, including youth, women, and persons with disabilities. Key activities include; the provision of digital solutions for improved public services and other government functions to advance the implementation of SDGs, establishment of local content hubs to enhance youth employability, entrepreneurship, and appropriate skills through the development of local and indigenous content that meets international standards and support to the effective operationalization of the National Digital Strategy to ensure no one is left behind,” she said.